The day I decided to say screw it….and never looked back.

Once upon a time, a girl named Trish married her best friend Jake.  It was a beautiful affair; nothing fancy, just right.  I’d had dreams of that day as a little girl marrying the man of my dreams, and being carried over the threshold of our pretty little home (don’t forget the white picket fence)……..we would have two children, a boy and a girl….that’s where it gets interesting, cause my life went nothing as  I planned it to…not even close.

  Yes I got married but forgot to mention that two little girls of ours were in the wedding party.  Here they are pleased as punch to get all dolled up for the day…….


Gasp……I haven’t even got to the most sordid part of all, don’t stop reading yet.  Two years later after a very healthy pregnancy, our third child, Timothy was born.  Husband check; girl(s) check;boy; check….not the family of four I had imagined but meh I can improvise, I thought.  But fate was fickle and that was not to be.  Baby Timothy was acting “strangely”, not neuro-typically.

The cards had been dealt, the dealer(everyone else) had a royal flush….and I?  Skunked.  Shit cards, ripped off, or so I thought. Self pity was my best friend for a while, I denied the truth for months, years even…I thought if I cried enough tears to fill an ocean, ignored the diagnosis, and tried real hard, I could fix him.  I thought if I dress him really cute, people may not notice his differences and give him a chance…wryly I look back with humor cause of course they noticed..  Timothy has non verbal autism and is low functioning.  Duh!

In those early days I tried to be SuperMom.  I watched youtube vids on Martha Stewart Living (before she went to jail).  I cooked everything from scratch~ if there was a recipe to cure autism, I cooked it.  I cleaned.  I did laundry and I went to work on weekends.  I missed so many opportunities to have fun with my children and live life because I lived with fog over my eyes for too long trying to be the perfect Mom and wife.  One day not long ago, I had an epiphany.  Screw it.

I’m no superwoman and I won’t pretend to be anymore.  I’m not a perfect or even really good Mom.  I yell when I’m frustrated and cuss when I’m annoyed.  I like a cold beer on a really hot day.  I burp and fart when I’m alone (and sometimes when I’m not!)  Hey, everybody poops-you know how it goes...
Bottom line is this: My kids feel loved.  They know they matter.

Screw the rest.

Its humble pie I eat now.  When your kid eats nothing-not a little-literally nothing whatsoever; you will buy him McDonalds fries every day if that’s what it takes to get him to eat.  So that’s what we do.  Yes, I’ve heard the “they won’t starve, will eat when they are hungry bit” and I”m here to tell you NO HE WON’T.  That rule doesn’t apply to my son, or those with extreme sensory aversions. He was mere days from being hospitalized back then.  I can’t say what he feels or what he knows, but back then, in those scary first months, he didn’t know hunger.  We lived in fear.  If Timothy had a cracker or a donut to eat that day (that was it) that was a success and I could let myself sleep that night.  I couldn’t say the words I can freely say now.

Timothy has autism.

We eat processed foods sometimes.  Frozen food. I do the laundry whenever I have time.  Same with cleaning.  I rarely apologize anymore for my often messy abode and don’t really care.

Those things don’t matter, really, in the scheme of things.

Its taken me a long freaking time to realize what does matter. Family.  Love.  Accepting myself and others for how imperfectly perfect they are. Living for the moment.

I’m not special.  Kids like him aren’t born to special people.  They are born to teach us.  They make us better just to know them.  They make better parents, better brothers and better sisters.  We are the lucky ones and I truly mean that.

Timothy is teaching me how to live in his world, he was all along.  I just missed the clues. 

To the newly “ausome” parents, stick with it.  Don’t get lost in the diagnosis and waste precious opportunities to learn about your child like I did.  If I had to look back, its my biggest regret.


Love and things,


My kid is the one trying to get inside your house this Hallowe’en…..

It happens every year.

After ALOT of prep and apt timing on our part of getting the costume on (and feeling right) ; sometimes only half a costume actually gets worn.  There are no wigs, masks or make up.  Usually our prep includes several weeks of practice trick or treating at both our home and therapy.  Due to the fact that in the past Timothy had absolutely no language, there was a bit of explaining at every door by Dad.  “Timothy has autism and doesn’t use words” that gravitated to just a loud “thank you” to eventually just a wave and smile if we got far enough.  By far enough, I mean around the block without a meltdown.

While this year he has gained the ability to actually SAY “Trick or treat” most of the time; he lacks the understanding and social graces of the average grade one kid.  Autism’s kinda like that.

Tricia Rhynold's photo.

So this year, I am warning all of y’all in West Brant; that you may have a home intruder on your hands…He is about 3 foot 11 in tall, 50 lbs and will be dressed as a charming little Batman wannabe, who may or may not be wearing a mask.  He will be excited and he will be loud.  He may try to run inside your house but please have patience he means no harm.   His Daddy is there and will be watching closely nearby trying to make his night as successful as possible.  Cause Hallowe’en should be enjoyed by all kids….autism, down syndrome, leukemia, cerebral palsy, walking or wheelchair;  whatever their exceptionality may be.  They are ALL kids.  Please be kind and treat them the same.  Different is not wrong or weird.  Its just different.

Have a safe and Happy Hallowe’en!


tHe BoOk Of TiMoThY


tHeBoOkOfTiMoThY oN fAcEbOoK

Its not worth it..

Trying to fit in.  Trying to force my 6 year old son with autism to be like the “normals”  (it just sounds better than neuro-typical, don’t you think?)  Sssshhh -ing him in McDonalds on a rare occurance that we are brave enough to take him in when he is making his happy sounds….  Wait a minute…..Why exactly is this rare? I’m not embarassed of my child.  Hell to the no.  Do the gawkers wear me down?  Absolutely.  But why should we care so much?                 Why do I want him to conform; to be like everyone else?

He wouldn’t be Timothy if he didn’t make funny, silly, sometimes strange faces…….


He wouldn’t be Timothy if he didn’t make the couch rock back and forth with his happy stimming bounces.


He wouldn’t be Timothy if he didn’t bring me to tears with a single word or gesture that other children his age did years ago.  Or at the same time bring me to my knees with sorrow or make my heart full with pride.

He wouldn’t be Timothy without autism.  I couldn’t be Timothy’s Mom (who happens to feel pretty damn lucky to have such a cool kid) without autism.


Hang on a second.  I probably could.  But it wouldn’t feel this amazing.



tHe BoOk Of TiMoThY oN fAcEbOoK

tHe BoOk Of TiMoThY bLoG

~This post is dedicated to the memory of Alice Ishkanian. May you RIP.